Glasgow assistant coach Kenny Murray has high hopes that the Scottish side can qualify for the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup for the second successive season.

Wednesday’s draw for the 2019/20 campaign has lined the Warriors up against Gallagher Premiership runners-up Exeter Chiefs, European Rugby Challenge Cup finalists La Rochelle and Sale Sharks in Pool 2, after they fell at the quarter-final hurdle last season to eventual winners Saracens.

“It’s a pool I think we should definitely be targeting to qualify from,” Murray told the Warriors website. “We’ve been drawn against three tough teams, but for me, there is no reason we can’t get out of this pool and reach the quarter-finals again.

“A lot will depend on player availability post the World Cup. It’s such a short turnaround between the end of that tournament and the start of the Champions Cup, so hopefully we can field as strong a team as possible in the first two rounds.”

Glasgow know Exeter well, having been paired with them in the 2013/14 and 2017/18 pools, and their head-to-head is 3-1 in the Scottish team’s favour.

However, Murray stressed: “We know they’re a very good side and they have shown that in the Premiership consistently. Last time we played at Sandy Park we lost narrowly, then put in a really good performance at home. They’re a good side who play an attractive brand of rugby, so both games against them should be exciting.”

Adding to the excitement will be the return of full-back Stuart Hogg to Scotstoun after the Scottish international’s close-season move to Exeter.

“With ‘Hoggy’ playing for them next season, it brings an extra sense of sentiment to the game,” Murray said. “He’ll be keen to come back to Scotstoun and play well.

“We know Stuart’s strengths and we know what to do to put him under pressure. He’s a world-class player and we’ll need to be very aware of him.”

In contrast, La Rochelle will be new European opponents for Glasgow, although there is a familiar face in the French side’s coaching ranks in ex-Munster Rugby fly-half Ronan O’Gara.

“La Rochelle had a great season in the TOP 14 last year and played well in Europe too, reaching the Challenge Cup final,” Murray added.

“They’re physical and have some very good players up front, but I think they’ll be a much better side from an attacking point of view next season with Ronan coming in as head coach.

“He’s an excellent coach with an in-depth understanding of our division, having played with Munster for so long, and he knows how we like to play. He’ll develop their attack and add to what is an already very threatening team.”

As for Sale, you have to go back to 2002/03 for Glasgow’s last trip there, but Murray is fully aware of the talent in the English club’s ranks.

“Sale have recruited very well,” he commented. “Lood de Jager is a quality second-row and Faf de Klerk is one of the best scrum-halves in the world at the minute.

“We’ve not played them recently, so it’ll be a new challenge and as all English sides do, they’ll try and dominate from the start and make life difficult for us.”